Kingdom Arms by Robin of Thornwood Calligraphy by Robin of Thornwood Populous Badge by Robin of Thornwood

The Fourth Year

Twelfth Night Coronation and Revel
January 3, 1970

From The Page (December? 1969):


Tickets for the Revels to be held at Mills College on Jan. 3rd are going fast. If you haven't yet ordered, and have lost the order blank which was in the last mailing, send $2.50 per person to Lady Geraldine of Toad Hall (address omitted).

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN ENTERTAINING at 12th Night, contact Lady Diana at (phone omitted) so that she can schedule you. Singers, mimes, actors, magicians, musicians etc. are welcome.

P.S. To the Kingdom of the Mists:
Here is how to get to the 12th Night Revels at Mills College ... (directions omitted). See you there!

From the History (by Wilhelm):

Held at the Mills College Student Union, Oakland, California. Mistress Geraldine of Toad Hall was the autocrat and prepared the feast. Henrik and Leanne held court. King Henrik gave Awards of Arms to Johanna Griffenhurst, Michael of Moria, Richard Ironsteed, William of the Shire, Lenore of the Darklands, and Sheridan of Greenholm. Then Stefan and Luise were crowned by Henrik and Leanne. King Stefan gave Awards of Arms to Bjo of Griffin (Flavia Beatrice Carmegniani) and John ap Griffin. A feast followed, followed by revelry.

Argent, a fleur-de-lys gules.
Luise of the Phoenix
Argent, on a flaming fleur-de-lis
gules a phoenix displayed Or.
Arms drawn by Nicholas Bawcock of Petersfield, used with permission
Arms colored by Aja du Jardin

“And started the reign of King Stefan the Sick. Holding this discussion to a month is about right [Editor’s note – I emailed out events one month’s worth at a shot for comments. – Hirsch], because various attendees at the feast were sick for a goodly chunk of that month. I had whooping cough, as did some others, and others had various nasty afflictions. I had previously gotten the Caradoc coronation mixed up with this one because of Caradoc proclaiming "The Meat is rank" in stentorian tones, when in fact he just didn't recognize goat meat.” – Stefan de Lorraine

“Actually, it was much more likely that all the kissing going on in the 'nooks and crannies' passed on whatever bugs people had brought with them. That happened several years in a row, too. Remember the "Great Plague of the Year Seven" when almost everyone who had come to Twelfth Night ended up with the flu?” – Verena of Laurelin
“Yes, and it wasn't only the Year Seven. When you had people coming from all over the West Kingdom (which, as she points out, was then the whole West Coast) and mingling all evening in a close room, you're going to get maximum virus-sharing even before the cuddling in corners gets started. Happened practically every year, and I think the term "The Epiphany Plague" dates from then.” – Dorothea of Caer-Myrdynn
“No such proclamation was made at this feast, but, as I mistakenly said about the previous one, we think that some of the food handlers (who were getting in free because they were helping Geraldine) let their enthusiasm for attending get ahead of their common sense when they realized they were sick. They stifled their sneezes and coughs and came anyway and spread their little fellow travelers far and wide amongst the kingdom.
     “Other things that happened was that the Mills College student union was getting really crowded for a 12th Night. Jon FitzRolf, was this the 12th night in which you set up a scaffolding so you could film the festivities? The movies of the sheer press of people dressed to the medieval nines is pretty impressive, if I remember the movies correctly.
     “You might say this was the first example of a King's Mistress. Luise was determined to belly dance, having established a tradition of doing so, so she built herself a coronation gown that broke down into a glittery belly dancing outfit and the Queen disappeared and Mistress danced. She immortalized the event on the handle area of the original King's regalia trunk.
     “In fact, the tradition of the King's Regalia trunk, and the tradition of the various monarchs being immortalized on it, was started at this 12th Night, as Leanne presented it to the kingdom.
     “For those in other kingdoms who have always wondered at the West's reputation for profligacy at awarding Arms, at this event the sister of Stephen Blackeagle (I believe her name was Heather Crotty, can't remember her medieval name) presented my lady and me with gilded laurel wreathes to wear as a sort of cap of maintenance when we took off our crowns. Since she gave them to us in a situation apart from court, we called her before the populace to publically thank her for her efforts. The Heralds immediately wanted to know if we wanted to give the girl an Award of Arms. We said no, she had been publically thanked. That was probably enough.
     “Another interesting precedent set at this event concerned Duke Richard, always good for a precedent or two. He had moved to New Mexico, and he sent a message offering to resign his Dukedom since he was not present to maintain it. He felt he could just get it back when he returned to the Kingdom.
     “I refused to accept the resignation, saying that the honor was for deeds already performed, and he could not undo the deeds. I wonder what would have happened to tradition if I had accepted the resignation ... Can you imagine having to renew titles like Count and Duke every couple of years in order to retain them?” – Stefan de Lorraine

“An award of arms was also given to Anne of the Golden Rose, my late wife, Judy Adamson Reynolds.” – Michael of Moria

“This was the first of several Twelfth Night feasts I helped with. Toad Hall's New Years Eve 'tradition' for several years was spent putting marzipan scales on the dragon's tail ...” – Verena of Laurelin

“The goat roasted that evening was called "Lamb" and did taste quite strange for those expecting lamb, but it was not "bad" as it was labeled that evening. Some one brought a bowl of Tapioca pudding liberally laced with marijuana. It was not served to the general populous and was kept in the kitchen. Unfortunately, Ellen Cross Quills (Ellen Hodghead) spotted it in the kitchen and saying how she loved tapioca pudding helped herself to a large bowl. By midway through the evening she had a real glow on. Fortunately she was a happy intoxicant, she thought that everyone was "wonderful" all evening. I don't know that she ever learned, or would have believed what she had eaten. She did have a hangover the next morning.
     “Ellen was not the only one who got carried away. A well known Knight took a young lady out on the lawn where I was told that they made love in the altogether, resulting in their both getting colds.
     “In preparation for this event Lady Geraldine and a group of us gourmets ventured to McClure Beach on the end of Tamales Point in Marin County where we gathered a wash tub full of mussels. Gerry soaked them in water with wheat hearts to rid them of the sand and stuff them with cereal. When they were cooked in wine sauce they were divine.” – David of Ilwheirlane

“Astrid and I were among that group. Low tide had us there from late afternoon to well into dusk, and I remember it as being quite dark when we called it quits but wanted a campfire before heading up to the parking area. There was driftwood, rather wet, and matches; but no kindling. It happened I had heard that orange peels had enough oil for the purpose, and someone had brought oranges ... yes, it did work.” – Karina of the Far West

Description of this event, © Copyright 1980 by William R. Keyes (Wilhelm von Schlüssel)
This is from The History of the West Kingdom, Volume 1 (the only volume produced). When reading this text, please keep in mind the following disclaimer:

Disclaimer: This history may have errors in it, as much of the detail is “remembered” history, or as one of the cover pages of the original type-written manuscript states “The material within is derived from the information printed in The Crown Prints and in The Page, and from the memories of the participants.” The original document was typed on onion-skin paper, with hand-written notes (often in the margins). All attempts have been made to reconcile the notes with the original document.

Annotations, when they are added, are from The Annotated History of the West, Volume 1, which is the same text as Master Wilhelm's mentioned above, with commentary from members of the SCA who were active at the time of the event, and are added to help clarify questions and expand on what happened and why. This volume is copyright © Ken Mayer (Hirsch von Henford).

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The West Kingdom History Website was created by and is maintained by Hirsch von Henford (mka Ken Mayer).